Talking Growth #08:Building your Personal Brand + News for Creators

December 3, 2020

Today's version of Talking Growth is going to be on the lighter side. While I love that you guys read and enjoy my emails, It would be great if you made time to vote today. If you're not into voting, just take time to show appreciation to the poll workers who are putting their lives on the line for our country.

Now for all things Talking Growth. Last week I sent two versions of this newsletter. Email one went out Tuesday and contained updates and insights on my personal brand side of things, while email two went out Friday and contained updates on news around the creator economy. Friday's email performed stronger than previous emails and will definitely be something I include going further.

Now let's dive into my audience updates, how to grow your personal brand, and other items.

🌱Talking Growth


Antonio Gary Jr./Talking Growth Consulting - last month I made a deliberate effort to lean into building an audience, growing a community, and ultimately building solutions for creators. Since that time I've been able to connect with others, launch the Creators Database, and work with more creators to help launch their products and expand an audience. This wouldn't have been possible if I didn't make a deliberate effort to be the lighthouse in the creator economy.

While it may prove tedious, cumbersome, and sometimes outrageous, YOU need to build your personal brand and audience. Even if your goal isn't to start your own business, having a strong personal brand gives you the opportunity to connect with others, land that next job, and do more of the things you want.

How do you build your personal brand? I cover this more below. Also, I go live on TikTok every weekday around 7 PM- 9 PM where I respond to all marketing questions.

Creators Hub - I launched v1. of the Creators Hub last week and it's definitely something I'm going to work more on updating. With the hint that Notion will finally open up their API, I'll be able to build a fully automated solution for creators to keep track of their business.

Talking Growth TV - thank you to everyone that signed up for my YouTube channel. I've been a bit more swamped with other projects/clients, so I haven't been able to lean into creating content for YouTube. All this is to say, I'm still working on this, so subscribe if you haven't already.🎤Audience Learnings/Insights of the Week

I'm now in month two of my personal brand journey and I can no longer classify it as an experiment. The goal is to continue to build my brand and grow my social following. As of late, I've definitely slowed down, and this is seen in my week over week growth; however, the success of this past month has given me the validation to keep pushing forward.

Twitter growth this week was nonexistent as I went from 77 followers to 81. It's not a huge jump, but as long as I'm growing every week I'm not upset. To help drive more growth, I'm going to start experimenting more with Twitter threads on creators as well as focusing on releasing more tools.


Oct 19 - 26


Oct 26 - Nov 2

TikTok growth slowed down this week as well. This more than likely due to me testing videos where I remove CTA's (call to actions). However, now that I have 1k+ subscribers I can go live. TikTok lives are an underrated opportunity to boost your following because TikTok pushes your live stream and existing content onto others FYP (For You Page).

Last week I went from 1,000 to 1105 followers.

📊Talking Strategy - Building your personal brand

There's a massive shift going on in marketing and social platforms. Social media is becoming more private, the number of creators are growing, and the number of cost-effective marketing channels is dwindling. This has given rise to the importance of having a strong personal brand. As I mentioned, having a strong personal brand gives you the opportunity to connect with others, launch your business with an existing audience, and open doors that wouldn't be possible without having a following. So, how do you get started and how do you keep the momentum?

Find your footing

Before I started to deliberately lean into growing my personal brand, I had no idea where to start or what I would talk about. If you've been a subscriber here for more than the past month, I use to run a newsletter on growth marketing called Growth Roadmap. The problem is that this felt too niche and I started to get bored with the content. I can talk about marketing for hours, but I wanted to give myself the flexibility to expand the content I write about.

This is why I started Talking Growth. I wanted to have the flexibility to build and write a newsletter that extended beyond marketing and felt more personable. Marketing is one of my brand pillars; however, it's not my only pillar. My pillars are marketing, building products, personal development, and transparency.

Your pillars don't have to be completely set in stone. As you grow, new things may catch your eye, so don't feel locked down by your interests/content. Think about this, how would someone describe you if you weren't in the room?




For me, I want to be known as the marketing guy who helps creators grow their business and help others work on the things they're most passionate about. While the title "The Marketing Guy With The Hair" may be too comical for some, I'm not an overly serious guy and felt it was a great touch on showing the humorous side of my personality. Additionally, if someone described me, they'd say my brand title. Plus I own the domain for this.


Take it to market

Before I leaned directly into my brand, I tested different messaging with paid spend via IG stories. I told people what I was about, why they should follow me, and what they would learn in return. I based success on email signups and was able to get a low CPA ($.75-$1.50) and subscribers that wanted to follow me on my journey. With that validation, I then started creating organic content around myself, what I was working on, and building my business. This allowed me to be consistent, with a central theme on helping creators and those looking to grow their personal brand.

If you don't have an audience, record a video of yourself and place a light budget against it and test different ideas of what you would want to talk about. Drive that traffic to email signups or follows on your IG account. If you can't afford that, use the above diagram and start engaging with others, start creating, and start sharing your content. Regardless, take action and be consistent.

Be authentic and be consistent

I don't recommend you spread yourself too thin. For most, prioritizing a single channel is enough. I do recommend you be authentic and consistently post on a social platform of your choosing every day. This keeps you top of mind, reinforces your brand to others, and most importantly helps you build your tribe. Building a brand is a long-term game; however, the more you can shorten your feedback loops (e.g. growing an engaged audience), the better you're able to know whether or not you're going in the right direction.

💡 Inspo

"For the true entrepreneur, there is no finish line. The process is what keeps them going." - Route2fl

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You read that subject line right. It's news for creators, and I'm back with Talking Growth #8.5. See here for Talking Growth #8 just in case you missed it. As a reminder, the .5 editions of Talking Growth are weekly updates on all things related to the Creator Economy.

Today we're covering a bug causing YouTube creators to lose up to 50% of revenue, how one creator did over $100k in a week, how much Teachable creators made this month alone, how a photographer landed top tier TikTok stars as her clients, and the problem with DMCA and how one platform caused a frenzy. Let's hop in.

📰Talking Creators


How a Photographer Blew Up - If you're looking to build your brand or grow your business, you have to adopt the mindset of a creator vs. a consumer. There's nothing wrong with being a consumer, but if your goal is to separate yourself from the pack, become a creator. Tati Bruenig went from TikTok user to high-profile photographer snapping the growing trend of TikTok e-boys.


Teachable Creators Made How Much - This month alone, the CEO of Teachable, announced that 12 creators became first-time millionaires and four creators made over 10M+.

Course creators have been winning since the beginning of quarantine. Especially as more people have extra time on their hands and are looking for opportunities to learn. With additional lockdowns and growing problems with traditional education institutions, I expect course creators' revenue to continue to grow. What does this mean? You have skills that can be monetized. Teach someone and monetize them.

🤳Talking Social & Platforms

TikTok Learning Tab - There's a number of large updates still on TikTok's roadmap with a majority of the upcoming features already existing on it's Chinese twin, Douyin. The latest addition to TikTok comes with the testing of the learning tab. I mentioned in a previous newsletter #learnontiktok and the growing number of people that use TikTok to learn everything from marketing to how to clean a fridge. TikTok also made a large investment ($50M) to learn on TikTok. This is going to be a big driver to not only supplement traditional education but a great way for creators to monetize and drive traffic to their courses/products


The Growing Issue With DMCA - Over the past few weeks, Twitch streamers have scrambled as they fought to determine a workaround to DMCA notifications that Twitch sent out to creators. Top streamers were banned without notice while others scrambled to delete their previous videos. This is an ongoing problem that isn't tied specifically to Twitch. The problem will continue to grow and expand to other platforms as more content creators have their hands slapped for using copyrighted material.

YouTube Bug That Made Creators Lose $$$ - An alleged bug has ended up in creators losing thousands of revenue. For people that live off of their YouTube revenue, this is clearly a problem.

☂️Talking Drops From Creators


Traf iOS14 icons - Creator Traf did over 100k in a week. How? Through building an audience, getting in his reps in on previous not so successful projects, and a well-timed shoutout. This isn't a new release, as Traf released his icons shortly after iOS14 dropped but his revenue is still growing.


TikTok Creator Jessica Haizman of All Things Organized - Jessica Haizman started documenting her habits, organization skills, and systems to help organize everything from her grocery list to clients' homes. In the process, she gained a following of 500k+ followers across Instagram and TikTok. After much demand, she released her first course to help people level up their organization skills.

🏄Things you want to know

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